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The Color of Home

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Can two people stay connected for a lifetime and each know the complete truth about the other? When New Yorker Nick Satterborn falls in love with Sassa Vikander, he's convinced the answer is yes. Nick Satterborn. Songwriter. Dabbler on the spiritual path. Survivor.

Sassa Vikander. Stunning chef. Seeker on the path of most resistance. Survivor.

Contentment percolates for a time, until the two are hurtled into a life of uncertainty, self-evaluation, and growth. Each dreams heroic dreams of overcoming his/her past, rising out of sadness, rediscovering home, finding peace. Their worlds dissolve and reform. People and events threaten to tear them apart.

The Color of Home is a story of love, of loss, of digging deep down to the bottom of things until maybe, just maybe, Nick and Sassa find the strength to become whole. Their journey offers a unique, honest glimpse into the life and love of a palpably rare relationship of our time.

322 pages, Paperback

First published October 23, 2013

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About the author

Rich Marcello

7 books128 followers
Rich is the author of five novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, The Beauty of the Fall, The Latecomers, and Cenotaphs, and the poetry collection, The Long Body That Connects Us All. He also teaches creative writing at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, self-discovery and forgiveness. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet. For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

Rich lives in Massachusetts with his wife and Newfoundland Shaman. He is currently working on his sixth and seventh novels, The Means of Keeping and In the Seat of the Eddas, a follow-on to The Latecomers.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 136 reviews
Profile Image for Jenna .
139 reviews183 followers
February 13, 2014

Here’s a little ditty about Nick and Sassa, oh why couldn’t her name have been Ryan, then that ditty would have come across so much better? Oh well, same concept. This IS a story of two lovebirds living in the Big Apple rather than the Heartland, but I did have that song in my head most of the time when reading this book for some reason, perhaps because Nick was a musician or because oftentimes they could be found commiserating over food, although the food was more advanced than chili dogs outside the Tastee Freeze.

I was unsure of this novel when I first received it, via the great folks at Goodreads and Rich Marcello through a giveaway, mostly because it seemed to start in the middle of a conversation that I couldn't catch up to. Another reason for my doubtfulness was the fact that it was a love story. I am not completely opposed to love stories, but after a decade of Nicholas Sparks novels/movies dominating the world, the thought of a slow paced love story really made me cringe a bit.

Although, this book started at a slow pace, after a few chapters it picked up and I was completely hooked and suddenly appreciated the pace. It allowed me to fall in love with this couple as they were in the process of falling themselves. With hardships in their past, their relationship required a slower start in order to build trust and avoid unnecessary pain. Both Nick and Sassa were no strangers to pain, he had lost his father when he was 17 and her parents and older sister died in a horrific traffic accident at 13 and through these tragedies they formed a firm bond and trust for the other.

After a year of blissful domesticity, Sassa decides that it is time to “find” herself as this is her pattern with relationships in the past (Damn you Sassa!). Nick is undoubtedly surprised and devastated by this as he only envisioned a future with Sassa. They ultimately agree to have no contact over the years, except for one day each year. On a specified date they agreed to meet each other in the city and to be upfront and honest with each other about what has been going on with their lives and answer three questions that will hopefully lead them back to each other.

What did you learn this past year?
Do you feel whole?
Do you know where you belong?

When Sassa broke things off, she felt that they were two halves working together to make a whole, but she wanted them to become two wholes that come together and last for fifty years.

The first year for Nick was painful and consisted of yearning for Sassa and eventually visiting the Sedona Vortex where he takes Ayahuasca, an organic drug that Peruvian Shamans use to exorcise the demons out of the mind. This is done by reliving the heart of the pain and working through the darkness to come out on the other side. He makes it halfway through before it becomes incredibly overbearing and he leaves the Sedona Vortex without fully completing the full purge of darkness.

Sassa’s first year is a bit different. She meets an older man, Brayden, he wants nothing more than a short-term fling and is upfront with her about that. Sassa finds him maturely appealing and agrees that she doesn’t have the capacity to commit to him in the long run either. He ends up teaching her things about herself that she wouldn’t allow herself to accept, and their relationship ultimately is a testing of her patience, especially when it comes to forming a relationship with his 15-year-old daughter. They finally ended things (on great terms) before Sassa was to meet Nick for their yearly gathering. Things didn’t go over so well when Nick learns about Brayden, considering he spent their year apart working through his pain and living a life of celibacy. In the end, she still wasn’t ready to join forces(Damn you Sassa!)

The second year seems to flip a bit where Nick meets Rachel, a sexual goddess with full-sleeved tattoos on both extremities and a chameleon of personal style. She challenges Nick’s sexual prowess abilities and introduces him to the world of Karma Sutra.

“Your tongue is the brush and I’m the canvas. I’m looking for a masterpiece every time.” -Rachel (Wowza!)

After a rocky beginning, Nick eventually gives in and starts to fall in love with Rachel. Sassa, on the other hand, is more on the search to find herself. Therefore, after their second meeting, it is Sassa that becomes jealous and hurt upon learning about Rachel. And I must say that I found great pleasure in her misery, yes I admit it. My own feelings of Sassa went back and forth and was a complete emotional roller coaster. At times, I felt for Sassa and wanted Nick to run to her and embrace her with every ounce of his being, but then there were times that I felt that she was hypocritical and I would start yelling at the book. For instance, I could’ve jumped in the pages and rattled her when she mouthed:

“I needed you after _______. You left. You disappeared to go find yourself, whatever the hell that means.” -Hypocritical Sassa

There were times that I thought that she pulled herself together quite gracefully and I had presumed it was due to her families passing that she was able to let go of situations that she couldn’t control, therefore I began to root for her again. Only later did I suspect that her “letting go” was perhaps a form of manipulation. (Damn you Sassa!)

Their separation lasts for several years. It is after a handful of tragedies and fully discovering themselves that they are forced to decide if they will let go of the past and make their way through life as two wholes or if the damage is too abundant that a life together would be too painful.

The story of Nick and Sassa was so engrossing for me, but the prose of The Color of Home really drew me in as it was written beautifully and yet in a way that wasn’t distracting. The characters also weaved in several philosophical thoughts that I enjoyed pondering on, for instance:

After Nick’s father died when he was younger, he ran out in the woods behind his home and severed a tree limb with his pocket knife. After he returned home he wrote…

I go
into the woods
for a tree
my age.

I cut from it
a large piece
of bark
in your memory.

I know the tree is
in great pain now,
as I am.

It has lost
its beauty
its armor
and is vulnerable.

I will visit this place often
to watch the tree
to grieve for
what I have done
what I have lost.

Below is another example of the philosophical tidbits that were intricately weaved through conversation:

“Do you know that the average emotion lasts ninety seconds?” “What we do after that time is what gets us into trouble. We give ourselves- sometimes for years- to emotions that were meant to last no more than a couple of minutes.” -Sassa

Sassa’s conversation with Linnea as she was pondering what the purpose of life was about and how to make changes in the world for the positive:

“It may take a few generations, and I can see how you might be overwhelmed but for me, doing my small part is enough. You have to be okay with the long view, though.” “It means big change takes a lot of time and people, that’s all. It might take one hundred years and millions of committed souls to bring about what we’re talking about.” -Linnea

I feel that all of the characters were defined by either their occupation or their personality strengths. For instance, Sassa is a chef and at one point in the book, I wrote in the margins:

Warning: Do not read this book if you are hungry!

This novel goes into detail of all kinds of entrees, desserts, appetisers, etc. And the descriptions are so detailed that my stomach began growling on several occasions. Rachel, on the other hand, is known for her sexual appetite. So, it wasn’t surprising to me at some point in the book when Nick says,

“ Life is all about sex and food”

Yes, Nick, yes it is. In your situation at least.

Although I had a love/hate relationship with Sassa, I was incredibly annoyed by Rachel, and I wanted to whisk Nick away from them all and keep him to myself, I really loved this book. I was so emotionally invested in each and every character and felt like I was leaving a part of myself behind when it was over. I haven’t been that connected to a book in a very long time. Yes, I rolled my eyes in the beginning and thought that it was going to be too slow for my liking, but that ended up not being true and the characters lives were shown to me in depth through each word. Based on the author’s Goodreads page, this is his first novel. If this is true, the author did an incredible job with the pace of the novel as well as developing the characters in such a way that I was always discovering some new layer of their lives and personality along the way.

I highly recommend this book. It's perfect for snowy days like today. You should read this book and snuggle in a comfy chair under your favorite blanket and get swept away by Nick and Sassa. And if you aren't in a snowy place, snuggle up and read it anyway.

Profile Image for Jena.
68 reviews
August 5, 2016

I was very appreciative to have won this book.

If anyone is reading this review BEFORE reading the book....stick with the book past the first chapter or so. I felt as though I had stumbled into the middle of a conversation that I didn't quite "get"....I think a more gradual ease into the main spiritual concepts and main themes of the book would have made the reader get "grabbed" right from the beginning...I consider myself a fairly spiritual person that believed and related to most of what the main characters were thinking/feeling and experiencing and I still felt "lost" through the first few pages. I can't imagine someone continuing reading the book if they were first hearing about the concepts for the first time or didn't believe in them.

The rest of the book was very hard to put down. I became connected with the characters quickly, felt for them and wanted to know how it would end....throughout their personal journeys I gained alot from them and took away much that I would like to continue to read more about.

Thank you.
Profile Image for Nancy Steinle gummel.
507 reviews91 followers
May 18, 2014
The Color of Home: a Novel by Rich Marcello is a first read win and I'm giving my honest opinion. I really liked this book, it was hard to put down. You get swept up in the story and can't wait to see how it ends especially with the pitfalls that hit these lover's. It is a novel of finding honesty and true love between two people. People like Nick and Sassa. They both had tragedy in their past. Nicks father dropped dead watching tv with Nick. Sassa's parents and sister were killed in a car crash. Sassa survived but had serious back trauma. They both have their ghosts follow them causing difficulties in the present. They separate and agree to meet each year to discuss their growth, until the year Sassa put business before life.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,119 reviews44.8k followers
March 9, 2016
This book has all the ingredients for a trashy romantic novel that would undoubtedly leave the reader dissatisfied, except it doesn’t. This novel is deep, very deep, with lots of emphasis of love and how to maintain it and not to let it fade into the ether.

Sassa and Nick are madly in love, except there is something wrong. They decide to take some time apart to experience the world before the commit, Nick is forced to agree. The main idea is for them to become “whole” before they engage in a lifelong relationship whish they are inevitably destined to do. Sassa end up running a vegetarian restaurant, Nick finds a girl more like himself which end in more heartache and loneliness but there paths are crossed and lead to the same ending.

It is clear that there is a lot of the author in this book. An evident love of music and food is present which makes the novel seem very personal. I was even more impressed when I went on the author’s website and found the actual performances for the songs he has written for this book but I cannot help but wonder, what came first the music or the book? Either way they're both great.

I must say, being a vegan myself, I found the descriptions of the Green Angel (a vegetarian restaurant) very inviting, I would love to eat there but that being said parmesan cheese is not vegetarian! This is something minor and I don’t think anyone who is not vegetarian would have noticed but still a vegetarian restaurant would not serve parmesan, it contains rennet which is derived from the stomach of slaughtered cows. This is often overlooked by many people who classify the cheese as suitable for vegetarians. Just saying! I’m being a bit petty here and this by no means would affect my ratting of the book.
Profile Image for Rich Marcello.
Author 7 books128 followers
September 5, 2014
Thanks for checking out my novel, The Color of Home. It's the first of three books I'm writing about different kinds of love. The second, The Big Wide Calm, was published in July of 2014, and the third, The Beauty of the Fall, will be published in 2015/2016. I hope you enjoy TCOH, and I hope you get a chance to check out TBWC, and TBOTF. Thank you.
Profile Image for Keshia.
78 reviews10 followers
April 17, 2014
I was very appreciative to receive this book from the author free of charge. I think the cover is wonderful and his writing is very descriptive and sometimes it swept me away.

This however was not a book that I would consider a good read. From the very beginning I felt like an outsider in a group of people telling inside only stories. I couldn't connect with either of the main characters except on a very basic level and honestly I was just frustrated while reading this due to the monotony of the character development. I disliked the way the author made their conversations abbreviated and confusing. I had no clue what they were talking about most of the time. It's completely unrealistic that everybody talks the same way. Nick and Sassa have this way of speaking that is almost like an interview where each party gives short answers. But then he meets Rachael and it's the same type of short flimsy answers. Sassa meets Brayden and their conversations are a little more in depth but when Sassa meets his daughter Chloe he goes right back into the flaky short talk as always. Even when Sassa considers buying a restaurant, A huge ordeal and process, the author says she hammers out the details over lunch with the same ridiculous conversation technique. It's no wonder these two couldn't get together for 5 years...Because they can't communicate on a basic human adult level. I wanted to scream at the book sometimes and literally had to put it down in frustration at times. The whole point of the book was to be "honest" and find "home" but yet the author never gave the characters the conversation skills to fully have a conversation. It was all subliminal and over analyzing. This story could have been a lot more acceptable with the right conversation skills between the characters.

Nick- For lack of a better word is a weak character and a weak man. If i knew somebody like this in person I would NOT be their acquaintance. He is incredibly selfish and only cares about himself and how he can overcome the loss of his father. I know the author openly admitted that this character was selfish and he went into detail on how during his youth went through girlfriends like nothing. That i'm fine with but as the story went on I grew tired of hearing him "weep" over things. During his relationship with Rachael all he could think about was how to please himself the most, what made him happy, how he could find home. I felt bad for Rachael and even though she was an easy, laid back character I found it almost impossible to believe that this 24 year old girl would be goth rocker one day and preppy Hampton chic the next. Then when she was removed from the plot (for lack of spoilers I won't go into detail) I felt it was just an easy way for Nick to find his way back to Sassa, like she was just a plot filler for extra drama. The whole two years where he, once again wept ALL THE TIME, had hallucination, and juiced daily while supposedly writing "the best album of the year" alone in solitude, he yet again womanized a local waitress for a one night stand who obviously showed interest in him. The only thing I consider when reading about Nick is that he is incapable of being a real man. He runs and hides and doesn't confront his feelings (even under the influence of drugs on a spirit journey) instead of facing them. The final straw with my frustrations with Nick was the way he acted about his music. As a fellow guitar player it is COMPLETELY ridiculous to ever think your own work is phenomenal. Every musician picks their work apart and Nick did but when he listened to his finished cd, which by the way he named "songs of love and loss" after telling Rachael that it wasn't a good name for a cd but it was now good enough for him (once again a using selfish act), he WEPT and thought to himself that it was the best thing he ever heard. HIS OWN CD!! Of course reviews of his CD came flooding in and SHOCKER.... Every single person who heard his sappy love ballads thought they were perfect and people cried while hearing them. COME ON!!! Not even Bono can write a song in a couple of days, record it on some crappy equipment in a cabin and have people bawling while watching their TV screen. Not to mention that you can't just send your CD around and expect it to become that famous in a couple of weeks. Record labels won't even listen to CD's not turned in by agents. It's too much unrealistic circumstances that really took me out of this book. I literally just started laughing at how silly Nick was at times, It's so unbelievable that all you can do is laugh.

Sassa- She obviously is damaged and I connected with her more but once again I was lost in the unrealistic flaky-ness of her character. Of course she is beautiful and is able to travel wherever she wants, whenever she wants and find a good job and friends and lovers who she can have short one lined conversations with and find some deep meaning behind them *eye roll*. I got so sick of hearing about her pushing everything away only to find the next thing on the "path of most resistance" and I honestly just couldn't wait to finish this book because I was sick to death of hearing about her (and Nicks) every little detail and lost connection because they didn't properly talk to each other.

I almost stopped reading this book a quarter of the way in but I kept telling myself...no keep going it will get better and it never did. I feel that the author could do a lot better with better communication between the characters, less unrealistic flighty plot enhancers and just a all around better shaping of the people he is writing about. If your going to make a selfish character...make one. Don't make excuses for him and make him sound weak and pathetic. Enough with the weeping already. If your going to make a damaged girl who is trying to find herself, use more conviction and let her be more real. Of course this book wraps everything up in a nice little bow at the end and these two unrealistic, flaky, selfish characters end up happy as can be and Nick sings her yet another love ballad and recites a poem at a poetry slam that just happened to pop up out of nowhere (see what I mean, unrealistic) and they spend the rest of their lives speaking in half sentences that only they understand.
520 reviews14 followers
November 29, 2015
Thanks to the author and goodreads for a free copy!

I wanted to like this book, I really did.

And I did like some aspects. There were some lovely descriptions, and the song lyrics were a nice touch. The sections about cooking were great, and I really liked that aspect of Sassa's character. And that Newfoundland dog was adorable.

I loved the fact that this was about two people who sort out their own issues before seriously being together. It was a nice message -- instead of completing each other, they're two wholes being together.

But here's the thing: I'm big on dialogue in books. There were a lot conversations in the Color of Home, and... none of them worked for me. The characters didn't sound distinct from each other at all. Half the time, it was hard to tell who was talking, especially when it came to Sassa and Nick. Their comments -- both in meaning and delivery -- would have fit with either of them because their voices were so similar.

Combine that with the frequent philosophizing, and this book just came across as repetitive. The conversations didn't sound like actual people talking. They were just about the philosophical ideas behind the book. And those ideas were interesting, don't get me wrong, but it felt heavy-handed.

Something also rubbed me the wrong way about the way the female characters were portrayed. At times, it felt like they had no life outside of Nick. Yeah, he's a main character, so everything has to revolve around him to some extent. But these characters just seemed like they fell at his feet, usually slept with him, and taught him something. They were only there to help him, and then they vanished from the book once that happened.

The net effect: I didn't care about Nick as much as I thought I should've, nor was I that interested in what happened with his career, or his love life, or most aspects of his personal life.

I mean, I'm glad I had the chance to read this book. I'm not sorry I read it by any means. It just wasn't for me.
4 reviews
May 20, 2014
I came to The Color of Home in a roundabout way. I was looking for a love story to give my wife for Christmas. A friend recommended this book, so I checked out the author's website. I really liked the cover of the book, the storyline, and the first chapter, so I decided to buy a copy a few weeks ago. When the book arrived instead of wrapping it for my wife, I got hooked and read it all the way through. I liked it so much, that instead of giving it to my wife for Christmas, I gave it to her right away and asked her to read it.

Then the strangest thing happened. When she finished it, we got into this long conversation about what it truly means to be in a relationship with another person, and as a result, grew even closer.

And that's the power of the book. The story is good. And Nick, Sassa, and Rachel are interesting characters, but really the author has written the most profound how-to guide for relationships that I've ever come across, and disguised it as a novel. I've since found out that he's written two more books about love, The Big Wide Calm, which will be out next year, and The Beauty of the Fall, which will be out in 2015. I'm looking forward to reading those as well.

Overall, I highly recommend The Color of Home. It will move you, and as a result, it will help you truly be in a relationship with your partner.
Profile Image for Punit.
129 reviews26 followers
May 31, 2015
This is not a book for everyone, not even those who love romantic stories. From my perspective, it is a modern day western love story set in the backdrop of finding oneself and coming home with your soul mate.
Careers, relationships, past, present, future, meaning of life, home, music, food are the keywords that describe this book quite decently. The author is well versed in the technical details. And it shows in the quality of really good poems & songs Nick writes. For me, it was an overdose. Too much musical details and technical jargon from Nick while Sassa was left with just food names. I admire the Beatles and if you do, this is one joyride.
I somewhere lost after Sassa year two and it seemed to drag about philosophical stuff. Rachael was a good add. But most of the time, I'd read till I found something rather interesting to contemplate. And then would close the book and ponder over the philosophy for some days.
All in all, a good book that could turn into a great film.
This one finds place in my Wine Books list. It's the one wherein you read a little, imagine a lot, ponder over the characters & their thoughts. You don't gulp the book like a beer. You're simply not treating it well. This is best enjoyed sipping like a wine, slowly and beautifully.

My favourite scene: The one where Sassa enjoys her time in Harvard Stadium on a rainy day.

Thanks Rich :)
5 reviews
September 3, 2014
The Color of Home is a tragic, joyous, intellectual novel of perpetual searching, told in the context of a modern urban love story. The principal characters, Nick and Sassa, collide in New York and appear to find magic with each other. But these two aren't shallow yuppies, skimming through life. They're both scarred by tragedies that occurred earlier on. Those tragedies elevate, for each of them in their own way, a keen desire to find truth. So to be sure they have found it in each other, they continue searching, apart but parallel to one another, learning valuable and often painful lessons along the way. Only by finding their own voices first can they be sure their apparent harmony as a couple is real.

The author's background as a lifetime musician and captain of the technology industry shines throughout the novel. There are dabs of entrepreneurship and musicianship to help paint this picture, and they work beautifully. Another reviewer noted that the book should be read by every male interested in becoming involved in a serious relationship, and on many levels I couldn't agree more. This novel takes men to the softest part of their softest side. And gets away with it. As for women, well, I expect they'll enjoy every word of it. A great first novel.
Profile Image for Jessica Jett.
58 reviews1 follower
May 4, 2014
This book was given to me free of charge by the author in exchange for an honest review, and may contain spoilers. Review also posted to Amazon.

The Color of Home is a compelling novel with interesting characters and a story that will grip you and make you want to see it through to the end.

The first chapter was a bit confusing but the dialogue flowed nicely between the characters and I felt myself begin to be locked into the story. You want to keep reading, believe me.

The book is a genuine love story, but it is not complete fluff. It deals with the serious questions that plague some people in relationships. Is this person my other half? Can I really settle down with this person and still be who I am? Sometimes we panic and sabotage ourselves.

This novel is not very predictable and I found myself pleasantly surprised to not know how it was going to end. I don't like to spoil anything in my reviews though I do warn for them beforehand so I will stop myself here. Just read this book, you won't be disappointed.

I recommend this for anyone interested in contemporary-romantic fiction.

Happy reading! :)
1 review
August 20, 2016
This is a notable first novel with a compelling story and great characters.

Although I found the conversation of the first chapter initially confusing, I was immediately involved with the characters and their story. By chapter three I was completely hooked and couldn’t put the book down.

This is not a typical love story instead it grapples with the big questions in relationships; self-discovery and awareness, truth, levels of honesty and whether it is really possible to be at one with another. The characters are complex individuals who I found myself wanting to talk to, have dinner with, learn from and ultimately befriend. They’re ordinary human beings looking for their own happy ending.

The plot however takes some interesting and disturbing twists along the way. I found myself upset with their choices, sometimes happy and quite often sad but willing them on and not knowing until the final chapters which way their story might go.

I highly recommend this, a genuinely good read.
Profile Image for Marika.
183 reviews
April 21, 2016
The Color of Home was an artistic, unique, “portrait-like” experience. I think Marcello has a ton of potential as a writer. His descriptions and song lyrics made the book stand out as something different than anything I’ve read before.
Overall I didn’t agree with many of the ideas and mentalities of this book. The characters irritated me to no end and the plot was infuriating at times. I didn’t find the couple/story to be relatable or realistic. I also had a hard time following the dialogue and had to frequently trace back to who was talking first. The “voices” were not unique enough to easily distinguish who was speaking.
I wish the best for the author, but this book was just not for me.
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads! Thank you!
Profile Image for Tracey.
2,003 reviews72 followers
December 10, 2015
Read this review and more over at My Library Card

a copy of this book was won through Goodreads

I don't really have a lot to say about this book. From the very first page, I didn't connect with either character and was mostly skimming the story until the end. The story felt recycled from other novels and didn't come across as totally original. I haven't read anything else from this author so I can't even say that at least the story has his certain style or signature mark on it. It's all very generic and basic and I'm surprised that I made it all the way through until the last page.

Despite what may seem like complaints, I did like the story. Even though I heavily skimmed this book, there were many parts that would grab my attention and I would become fully invested in the characters journey of self discovery. Nick is the more relatable of the two lovebirds. He seemed grounded from the start and I felt like I knew who he was from the very beginning. Sassa was just annoying. She flipped flopped the whole book and it became very clear there wouldn't have even been a story if it wasn't for her. She started the drama and then whined when things didn't go her way. I was hoping for a realistic ending where they both move on from each other and grow into happier versions of themselves but obviously I was hoping for too much. I don't even think it's a spoiler to say that they end up together in the end. I saw it coming from miles away. So Nick and Sassa have their happy ending while I'm left with a lackluster novel that I'll be sure to soon forget.
Profile Image for GoodGlory.
398 reviews3 followers
April 28, 2014
I enjoyed this book so much! Their is nothing better than a love that we as readers know is meant to be, but is let go hoping to find it's way again. Sassa is young, beautiful and in her life she has lost so many loved ones. She bares the physical and mental scars to prove it. She meets Nick. A sexy songwriter (I pictured him kind of like Curt Cobain) :) He's sweet as well as sexy and thoughtful. The attraction between the two feels immediate. Though things are taken slow. Besides the best relationships I think, are built day by day. Brick by brick. That's exactly what Nick and Sassa do. Only to change courses though still in love, they go their own ways. Sassa hopes to experience the world more, learning on her way. While trying to deal with the loss of her family. Nick..poor nick, he doesn't really want that but his love for Sassa was so great that he let it happen. It's cliche but everyone knows the saying, "If you love it let it go.." In this story that works perfectly for them. It's a Life love story, written beautifully and intimately. Also a little catchy, I couldn't help but sing the songs in my head along with the words. I was glad that I was able to read this and review it! This love story is worth the read!
Profile Image for Ana Rodrigues.
100 reviews1 follower
May 15, 2014
The author, Rich Marcello, was very kind to send me an ebook copy of this book free of charge, in exchange for some honest feedback.

This is essentially a book about two people who have had their own share of pain and loss in their lives and who want to be together but need to feel whole on their own before starting a 50-year-old journey together.
All in all, it is a good story about the importance of knowing and "fixing" yourself before engaging in a serious relationship, about growing as a person and finding home.

It was easier for me to connect with the wholeness aspect and the journey to get there, than with the love aspect. I also found the truth theory interesting, though I feel like it wasn't as explored as I thought it would be, given the premise of the book.
I had a bit of a problem in terms of the timeline and with character development, though. Regarding the first point, I was a bit confused when Sassa and Rich were separated because I was having a hard time situating certain scenes in time. Regarding the second one, it seemed to me like I knew nothing about most of the secondary characters and I would have liked to know more about them.
Profile Image for Michelle Morgan.
Author 5 books147 followers
January 6, 2014
Weeks after reading “The Color of Home”, I am still reeling. The lyrical prose is captivating, attention-grabbing, but it’s the characters who really pull you in. The contemporary setting and smooth, easy-to-read narrative are a surprise from a first-time author, but Rich Marcello has proven himself a master storyteller. Scene after scene, the author digs deeper. Why do we love? How do we heal? And just when you thought you knew, you didn’t.

This is no cookie-cutter contemporary romance. The main characters, Nick and Sassa, are REAL, relevant, wounded, and their story is one of hope and passion. I found myself rooting for them, even when they made me angry at times. I found myself sucked into their lives, wanting to learn more. Why are they hurting? What’s their story?

But it seems to me that the story was never actually about them, after all. The story was about me, about you. About all of us. And the journey doesn’t end when the reading stops, so be ready to dig way down.

Bravo, Rich Marcello! You’ve done quite a thing. I anxiously await the next book, “The Big Wide Calm”.
Profile Image for Bobby.
800 reviews3 followers
April 16, 2014
A really touching intimate story of a long term relationship and the obstacles encountered in order to bring two people together.
Nick and Sassa are a couple that must lose each other in order to find each other. Premise sounds confusing but Mr. Marcello does a good job dealing with the confusion. Sassa has a "one year agenda" that requires her to break off any relationship after a year no matter how good (or bad) said relationship is. They agree to come back for a visit annually and discuss what they learned about themselves and the world while separated. Makes for a meaningful as well as sometime tragic tale. Loved the idea of stopping in an intersection, jump out of the car....and dance! Have to read it to understand this.
Those who enjoy the passion that comes with being young will thoroughly enjoy this.
Thank you Rich Marcello for making this available through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Well done.
Profile Image for Marianne.
322 reviews7 followers
April 21, 2014
I would like to thank the author and publisher for this book that I won in the Goodreads First Reads contest. The book followed the lives of two people who found each other, parted and experienced life and moments that helped them mature as individuals and find their way back to each other. The book was slow to start but improved in the end. The characters were very self-absorbed and experiences just a little too convenient. I would consider this book more for the YA crowd. I found no substance to the book and a lot of working through feelings. It was difficult to read for me. Having said all this, it was not a bad book, just a book that did not captivate me.
1,025 reviews18 followers
July 11, 2014
Many people love this book. I did not. It was repetitive, uninspiring and just dull. It is about two people who are each working to discover themselves and sometimes working together. "And they all lived happily ever after." The content is fairy tale and not very realistic. Of course, fairy tales are not realistic. There are other books that dig deeper into ourselves, make us think harder about what we are and want to be and where we have been. Did I get any new insight from this book? NO.
I received a review copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads program.
Profile Image for Suzanne R.
11 reviews3 followers
January 14, 2015

GREAT book! Written in a very artistic way, with a lot of character and depth. This was not the typical book that I usually read, so I was really excited to take a journey down this road with the author - and after the first two chapters, found myself thrown into the world of "The Color of Home".

Profile Image for Katherine.
6 reviews
April 5, 2014
I really loved this ook from the character like sassa and just everything this book should be a best seller i cried and the suspense left me biting my nails marcello is a genius i wanna read his other books!
Profile Image for Kathryn.
142 reviews
Want to read
September 10, 2016
I love the jewel tones of this book and ma thrilled to have won it through First Reads! Looking forward to reading it.
Profile Image for Brooke.
Author 1 book2 followers
May 5, 2017
This book was really good. The concept within is a unique one. One I havent found in really any other love stories but that I think is very worthy of consideration and exploration. For that reason alone, I highly recommend reading it. The story is also interesting and engaging.

For a more detailed review of the book (dont worry, no spoliers), here you go (from my blog):

Profile Image for Joseph Carrabis.
Author 36 books95 followers
August 15, 2017
As I wrote for The Big Wide Calm, Rich Marcello is a master of scene, plot, styling and character development. Reading anything he's written (three for me so far) is 1) an enjoyable ride and 2) a classroom on how to do it.
Profile Image for Geena.
42 reviews40 followers
July 17, 2014
I received “The Color of Home” by Rich Marcello as part of the “First reads” program on goodreads in exchange for my honest review.

“The Color of Home” is a novel which I wholeheartedly believe had a lot of promise, but fell short on nearly every level when it came to the execution of the story. Marcello’s novel, about two twenty-somethings who fall in love in the big apple is a seemingly appealing one. Nick and Sassa meet over coffee and are immediately attracted to one another. Nick is enthralled with Sassa’s beauty and the sadness that seems to lurk behind her eyes, while Sassa finds Nick’s hot musician persona intriguing. After a few dates, they eventually become boyfriend and girlfriend and stay together for a blissful year that is filled with lots of sex and bad, whiny poetry. Once they hit the one-year mark, Sassa gets a serious case of cold feet and backs out of their relationship, attempting to justify her impulsive actions by saying she is not yet “whole”, that she needs to find herself before committing to another. Though her actions may seem bizarre to the reader, I felt that Sassa’s inability to commit to Nick was more than understandable. Some couples can grow together, while others need new experiences and time apart to really understand who they are as individuals before they can commit to another person. Nick and Sassa were an example of the latter. While others may see their unexpected break up as silly or trite, I would argue that it was probably the most genuine, truthful part of Marcello’s novel. Unfortunately for Marcello, all authenticity, truth, and believability in “The Color of Home” starts and ends there.

I have never been one to dismiss a body of work because the story lacks originality. Nothing any human being creates is entirely original; we are all sum products of all of the individuals we have encountered. Thus, it is not lack of originality that was my big issue with this novel- it was the sincerest lack of any authenticity or believability. Throughout its entirety, “The Color of Home” is overwrought with repetitive philosophizing that goes on and on for most of the book, without bringing any new insight to the reader. Marcello’s feelings and theories about love are shallow and reads as if he is merely playing at being deep and authentic. He harps on about the importance of truth in Sassa and Nick’s relationship, no matter how raw and painful, yet he fails to convey any such feeling in his own writing. For example, we learn that Nick quickly becomes infatuated with Sassa due to her Nordic beauty and sad, strong eyes. However, his infatuation turns to love without any real reason being related to the reader. He loves her, she loves him, but why do they love one another? What is it about each other that captivates the attention and adoration of the other? We are told that they love one another and that they are so attracted to one another, but there is no actual feeling of love between these two characters. If I was Sassa, I would be incredibly offended at Nick being so in love with me just because of my looks and my sad past. Real-life people are more than that. To say Marcello barely scratches the surface of what love is between these two is putting it mildly, he really never even goes there.

Nick and Sassa read more as character tropes than as actual, fully-fledged human beings. While Nick and Sassa are apart, Nick falls for singer-songwriter Rachel. She plays guitar, has a lot of tattoos, quotes the Beatles, and generally seems like she should be the novel’s most interesting, complex character. However, she comes across as completely flat and one-dimensional, uttering phrases such as this gem, “You know, it’s music man.” Wow, DEEP. Like Sassa and Nick, Rachel comes off as a cardboard cutout, she seems to physically look the part, but upon closer inspection, lacks any realistic depth and authenticity. The characters in “The Color of Home” are so one-dimensional that it is extremely difficult to differentiate one from another, especially when Marcello’s writing falls into a passage that is pure dialogue. There is no differentiation between characters here; they all sound the same, talk the same, and ultimately to the reader, are the same.

Marcello spends the entirety of the novel hiding behind a shallow mask of pretention and cheese-tastic dialogue that unfortunately leaves no room for the core themes of honesty and truth to flourish and grow. With each passage being vaguely reminiscent of the last, there is no substance to these characters, no substance to their love story, and thus, no substance to the novel. Unfortunately, weak characterization coupled with shallow, repetitive philosophizing makes “The Color of Home” a run-of-the-mill love story that is utterly forgettable.
35 reviews7 followers
July 7, 2015
I received a copy of this book through the GOODREADS giveaway program in exchange for a review.

The novel, Color of Home, written by Rich Marcello, centers on the relationship between two individuals: Nick Satterborn, a musician, and Sassa Vikander, a chef, as they fall shooting stars in love; endure an agonizing break-up; maintain a friendship over a six-year period; and climax with a soulful understanding of who they are individually before coming together as one, culminating in a happily-ever-after marriage. This is not a straightforward harlequin-style or 50-shades-of-grey romance – think more along the lines of Plato’s symposium. The book was written in four parts and comes in at 312 very philosophical pages. As other readers have mentioned, the opening chapter starts off mid-conversation between the main characters. It is excruciating but if you can make it past the first few chapters – you’re home free. The novel is extremely well written in a technical sense, but it literally made me want to weep in frustration because initially I just couldn’t get past that first chapter. Reading this novel took almost a year from start to finish – it normally wouldn’t have taken me more than a few days, a month at the most, but this was sheer agony. I started the book and put it down, struggling with the dialogue and the characters (vacillating between sentimental and starry-eyed romanticism and maudlin, saccharine weeping – it was a rollercoaster) – and this happened over and over. I finally had to just grit my teeth and keep at it, reading a few paragraphs or pages every few days. When I say that it was well written, I refer to the grammar, the variety in sentence and paragraph structure, the effectiveness of the descriptions and scenes employed; the author’s deft control of the characters and the arcs of their storylines. I know many will fall in love with the characters, becoming absorbed in their romance and their search for identity as well as the author’s exploration of the philosophies of love, peace, home, and truth but I just had a hard time with it. I appreciated it and connected with some of what the author wrote; I just couldn’t get into it – it was either way too deep or too trite for me. Maybe, I just wasn’t ready for this type of writing. Ultimately, I really struggled with the dialogue – having such lengthy philosophical discussions was a bit too much for me and seemed to drag on too long. Like another reviewer suggested – this would make a much better film. Ultimately – the entire book could be summed up with this quote, “To thine own self be true.”
Profile Image for Julia.
Author 2 books12 followers
January 14, 2014
Aha! I've finally finished it! God, I know I'm awful. I meant to post this review when the book actually came out on December 3rd. But unfortunately due to exams and impending high school graduation, I had to put it aside. I think that speaks for the novel. It was interesting, as in I picked up and read it after exams and such, but it wasn't so interesting that I couldn't put it down in the first place. (You know that feeling--when a book is so good that you spend every free moment reading, and even put off other things such as school work and feeding your pets to keep reading it.)

So yes, I did enjoy this novel. It was realistic adult fiction, which was a change for me. I took great interest in the setting, which was New York City, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine. Also, the descriptions of food (Sassa is a chef) are absolutely mouth watering. I've never been craving a vegeterian dish before, but this book changed that...multiple times.

A little bit of a pet peeve are the names of characters in this book. There are a fair share of normal names, such as Debbie and Jessie and Rachel, but there are also a lot (too many) of freaking bizarre names. Some examples are Ashoka, Adira, Niveille, Myrina, and Halfa. Like come on. I dunno, it is just sort of a pet peeve of mine.

The people in this novel were real, with flaws and mistakes and imperfections and it was glorious. However I have a problem with the dialogue. We are only witness to the dialogue that is extremely deep and existential. There is no way that the only conversation that these characters can have with each other is always so deep and important and life-revealing. It isn't real. Sometimes people stumble in what they are saying, sometimes they don't quite get the words out right. Sometimes they just have meaningless conversations that aren't always about such heavy topics. That is what makes them real.

This book's plot was so incredibly original for the most part, that I really liked it because it didn't give any indications of having any of the cliches when it comes to "will they, won't they get back together" (in the cliches, they always do end up together.) Instead, this story kept me guessing and I loved that. There was a real possibility that this novel would end in a way I didn't expect. Then the Conan O'Brien incident happened. And it was all predicable from there on out.

Read the complete review at A Spot of Ink and Story
Profile Image for Mei.
48 reviews33 followers
September 6, 2015
Reto de lectura #50: Un libro que comenzaste pero nunca terminaste

Recibí este libro de parte del autor en un giveaway de Goodreads. Muchas gracias.

No encontré necesario comenzar esta opinión con una cita pues, a decir verdad, me sentí un poco perdida al iniciar en medio de una conversación que no entendí muy bien.

¿Qué puedo decir? Me encuentro con distintas emociones con este libro, disfrutando de algunos aspectos, no estando de acuerdo con otros y perdiéndome en el tiempo que manejaba el autor. Porque sí, el tiempo empleado me confundió tanto que me vi en la necesidad de pausar la lectura.

Tema aparte: lo que me ha gustado. Marcello se ha encargado de realizar una novela en la que los personajes principales tienen que abandonar la idea de estar "a medias" para llegar a ser personas "completas" y así poder encontrar el lugar al que pertenecen, su hogar. Suena fácil pero esto ocasiona que los personajes realicen un "viaje" de varios años en el que cada uno aprenderá a cambiar y a aceptar otros aspectos de su vida.

Los flashbacks. La introducción a estos me encantó. La narración no cambia lo que, desde mi punto de vista, es algo bueno. Además de esto, las descripciones sumamente detalladas no resultaban molestas, es más, podría atreverme a decir que eran necesarias.

Ahora, prosiguiendo con lo que no me ha gustado, como ya mencioné antes, es el tiempo. Hacia la mitad sentía que se estaba enfocando más en un personaje que en el otro, lo que me llevó a confundirme respecto a los años que habían transcurrido mientras leía los capítulos.

Aparte del tiempo, lo que casi me provocaba dolor de cabeza era la gran cantidad de diálogos de los personajes. La mayoría de las veces me costaba entender quién hablaba y me encontraba en la necesidad de releer e ir contando para saber quién decía qué. También —algo que encontré que debo mencionar sí o sí— algunos personajes no se sentían reales y sentía que, con ligeras modificaciones, terminaban por decir lo mismo.

No concuerdo con algunas de los aspectos que se plantearon en la novela (algunas de las cosas que usa Nick en su viaje o lo expresado en los últimos capítulos) así como lo de un personaje, el cual era hasta cierto punto más interesante que la protagonista.

Al final, tuve la sensación de que los personajes principales, Nick y Sassa, no debían estar juntos y que realmente quería escuchar las canciones hechas por Nick.

Puedes leer las citas del libro aquí
Profile Image for Kris.
1,372 reviews179 followers
October 24, 2014
Stunted. Stuck. Stiff. Almost rather dull. As hard as Marcello wants to be a novelist, he just doesn't have it in him.

The dialogue is just off, and often confusing and unrealistic. Marcello tries to be snappy and quippy or whatever else, but it just doesn't work. He tries so hard to create a deep, long-term relationship between these two people, but honestly it's nothing very interesting or unique. Some authors have that spark, that talent or knack for creating relatable and memorable characters that last within the reader's mind long after the book. But I had little emotional investment in the characters, and only finished this book because I got it for free from a Goodreads giveaway. The author tries so hard to create an even mixture of witty dialogue with flowery, metaphorical prose that accurately describes some inner emotional turmoil... but it just falls flat. Sorry, Marcello.

The author spends so much time going over how these characters have to get over deaths in their pasts, how years later they're still plagued by guilt and remorse, how they need to be "whole" and find "home" -- whatever that means. But then in other instances they seem to find cheap, quick-fix solutions to their problems in the present, with very little explanation. Other plot points seem to suddenly come out of nowhere, for no reason at all, other than the fact that perhaps the author thought it would be interesting if he threw it in. So it all feels rather cliche, formulated, and conventional, especially toward the end.

The sex scenes were unnecessary, adding very little emotional resonance to the story long-term. And frankly I don't see how a guy who openly admits he loves another woman will go sleep with a stranger for one night as a one-time "goodbye," before he goes back to the woman he loves. What a blatant disregard for such an intimate act, that's used as a treasured measure of love in other places in the book. There were several unrealistic elements in the plot as well, things that were very unlikely to have happened with today's modern technology.

There were also many typographical errors or clunky sections and confusing remarks that a good editor should have caught. I read this with a pencil in hand and was marking almost every page by the end.
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